'HACTIVIST' group Anonymous has doctored Guadalajara city council's website after a family was hit with a bill for €2,057 for having a relative's body exhumed from a common grave.
Timoteo Mendieta was executed by firing squad during the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939 and placed with hundreds of other victims of Franco's régime in an unmarked pit.
His surviving family fled to Argentina, and their descendents wanted to recover Timoteo's body and give him a proper burial with a headstone – permitted by Spain's Law of Historic Memory and requested formally by the Argentine government.
But the Castilla-La Mancha city has opted to charge the family for the exhumation, which has infuriated humanitarian protest group Anonymous, an unidentified global organisation which hacks computer servers to make its voice heard.
La Nueve ('The Nine'), a branch of Anonymous, wrote an article on the home page of Guadalajara city council's website, with the heading Cuestiónalo Todo ('Question everything').
The subheading reads: “¿Se puede ser más ruín?” ('How mean can you get?') and a standfirst says: “Guadalajara city council will charge the exhumation costs of Timoteo Mendieta to his family, but they'll have to pay three times that amount to have their servers audited.”
“Three days ago [for Tuesday, July 11] it was made public that Guadalajara city council intended to charge the family of Timoteo Mendieta for exhuming his body as ordered by the Argentine justice system, a verdict binding on the public administration and which, despite there already being a Law of Historic Memory – a law which is constantly ignored – said public administration is now trying, yet again, to wash its hands of,” the hackers' article states.
“Let's not forget that the mayor, Antonio Román [of the right-wing PP party] is known for, among other little gems, earning three salaries at the same time: as mayor, as MP and as a doctor.
“As a consequence, we have proceeded to exploit the vulnerabilities of the council's website which – surprisingly? - are not exactly free of charge to repair; in fact, it will cost them quite a bit more than the €2,057 charged for exhuming Timoteo to restore their server via the relevant IT audits.
“If we hadn't exploited these vulnerabilities ourselves, it would have ended up even more expensive for them when someone else eventually did in their own interests, so we hope they enjoy the show and drop their disgusting position on Timoteo.
“They're not up to the job.”
The 'hactivists' signed off the article: “Inglorious /b/asterds, La Nueve, Anonymous.”
Anonymous then tweeted a series of messages about the 'attack', saying: “We did warn them, but they didn't pay any attention. They didn't change their minds. So they should have been expecting us,” and “IT engineers in Guadalajara city hall haven't had any better ideas than to shut down their web server, and that's not a bad idea.”
Another tweet says the council 'is charging Timoteo Mendieta's family', but that now, 'they will pay treble that for an IT audit'.
Under the Twitter username of @La9deAnon, the protesters uploaded a photo of the home page they created and inserted, tagging the city council with their address @GuadalajaraAyto, and captioning it: “When a Francoist PP mayor tries to charge Timoteo Mendieta's family for his exhumation.”
As yet, Guadalajara council has not given any official comments on the situation, although it has released the above photograph of the Anonymous article.